Zim- A New Type of Discontent

Tuesday, 18 November, 2014

CSR21 is hearing reports back from Zimbabwe on a new type of discomfort within the country. UK investors often like to play a game called ‘How bad is Zimbabwe at the moment’, or the other version, modified with: ‘…compared to South Africa’, but it seems something new is occurring in the Republic: and that something is inter government fighting.

Zanu PF versus MDC, Zanu PF versus white farmers, Zanu PF versus the BBC are the familiar events that have faded into the white noise of recent history. It is, however, Zanu PF v. Zanu PF that has people worried, no faction more so that the people of Harare who are witnessing armed mobs hired by political leaders, a la ancient Rome, running riot attacking the police, political rivals and anyone else getting in the way. Could it be rivals jostling for power in the event of President Mugabe’s death? Well it could be, but then the same has been said about just about every political event in Zim for the last 20 years. However when a vacuum is waiting to be filled without a clear process to do so, democratic or otherwise, chaos waits to ensue.

A national politically led civil war would be an utter disaster for both the country and the region. It will be interesting to see what pressure the ANC bring to bare on Zanu PF if the internecine violence continues. The last thing Big Brother South Africa needs is more refugees and open warfare on its doorstep.

However making out Zimbabwe as the ultimate pariah state in Africa is a very white, western thing to do. Not to alleviate some of the obvious abuses in the country but as one previous Zambian Minister of Mines commented to a UK fund manager at a group breakfast; “Our view on President Mugabe is perhaps different from yours as we live in Africa, all the time.”

For an ‘In-country’ view from a news source see the Herald article: